Bulldog Design printed two t-shirt designs and a sticker memorializing the untimely passing of the former Keene Police Chief Brian Costa.

Two women came to Bulldog Design with their ideas for logos to remember Costa by.

According to The Keene Sentinel, Dianne Wright had the idea for the shirt reading the number “23” and Jennifer English worked up the idea for the logo reading “111.”

Owner of Bulldog Design Joe Tolman said, “It all came to us; it wasn’t something we spearheaded at all.” He explained, “We do know Brian personally because we do a lot of stuff for the police department, whether it is engraving or shirts and stuff like that. As far as the fundraiser goes, that was brought to us.”

Tolman explained that one of the people who came to him about the designs was Wright, a parent of one of the players on the Keene High School’s hockey team.

Tolman said, “They were in the state championship game two days after his death, so one of the mothers wanted to make shirts as a memorial kind of thing for him for that game.” Tolman mentioned that they didn’t even have time to order shirts in.

He said, “She actually went out and bought shirts herself and brought them into us.” Tolman’s sister, Mary, designed the t-shirt with the logo “23” on it and he said they sold out of the shirts very quickly at the game.

Contributed photo by Allie Baker / Sentinel Staff

Contributed photo by Allie Baker / Sentinel Staff

Tolman said, “We kind of figured that’s what would happen, so we also set up an online store that we can offer for people who didn’t get the shirts, but that wanted them.” The shirts and stickers can be purchased at https://khs4costa.itemorder.com.

Tolman explained that once word got out that shirts were sold at the game, they were contacted again for another design in Costa’s memory.

He said, “That’s where the other shirt came in with the silhouette of the dog with the blue line and the sticker. We then just added that to the same online store to make it easier for people to get either shirt.” Tolman explained that the store will remain open as long as there’s interest in it.

He said, “In order to make it feasible for us to do it affordably, we have to have kind of [order] like a bulk. So once it gets down to maybe one or two orders in a week, then we’ll probably discontinue it at that point. But if there’s continued interest in it, we’ll keep it open.”

The 23 represents Costa’s involvement with sports outside of work and the 111 relates to work.

Tolman said, “He was pretty much a pillar of the community as a leader for the police department and the movement against drugs.” He said  that Costa had a big part and was very visual in trying to curb the heroin epidemic in town.

Tolman said, “In that regard, he was very visible as he should have been as being the chief of police, but then otherwise, he was very active with youth sports and stuff. And that’s where his impact made a bigger impact with the youth and children of the community.” He mentioned that was a big part of who he was.

Lieutenant Steve Tenney had the opportunity to get to know Costa. Tenney said, “He was a co-worker, a friend and a boss. I’ve known him for quite a while, probably 20 years.”

He mentioned that 111 was Costa’s badge number from the police department. He explained that following Costa’s death, “There was quite an outpouring of support which kind of just speaks to the character that he was and what he had done for the community.

He continued, “I think they came together pretty nicely.” He reflected upon Costa’s community involvement.

Tenney said, “He was a great guy. He was very passionate about the community, which I think everybody knew. It showed in his involvement both out of work and inside of work, whether it was coaching or what he got involved with as police chief here.”

Both t-shirt designs are available for $15 each and the stickers sell for $8. All the money from the sales will go toward a college fund for Costa’s three children, but people can make additional donations to their orders as well.

The Keene Sentinel reported, “According to Costa’s obituary, donations can also be made for his children directly to the Brian C. Costa Memorial Fund through the Savings Bank of Walpole, P.O. Box 744, Keene, or at any branch location.”

Adam Urquhart can be contacted at aurquhart@kscequinox.com

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